September - November, 2016, Issue 84
RMNI Reconciliation Report
Africa Updates | DMMs | Prayer & Praise | Year Six of Sudan

AFRICA UPDATES

Much has transpired since my April trip to Juba. The Wycliffe compound where I stayed is now temporarily closed, with operations moved to Nairobi. In July elements of the Government of S. Sudan army fired artillery shells into the camp below, damaging the shelter used for Bible study (location indicated).

The assumption that Westerners were not a target of government soldiers was shattered by horrific attacks upon them on July 11, at the Terrain Hotel, particularly upon five women.1 The assumption that the US Embassy could assist Americans in emergencies was exploded by the same attacks, and the hope that the 12,000 UN Mission in S. Sudan would intervene to assist expats and Nuer outside of their perimeter was dashed as well. The UN camp is less than one mile from the Terrain Hotel, and these soldiers did not intervene after repeated requests from the US Embassy. Nuer can be, and have been, killed with apparent impunity by government soldiers. One was executed at the hotel, arranged in front of expats. In 2016, for the first time S. Sudan has had more attacks upon aid workers than in Afghanistan and Somalia.2 As one analyst observed, the government has acted so fast to consolidate its power that the international community hasn’t keep up with it.3 Until now. Visiting UN Security Council members on Sept. 2 convinced the government to accept a regional UN force of about 4,000, with heavier weapons, authorized to “use force to ensure the peace and protection of civilians.”4 The new force is due to arrive by September’s end.

Jebel Camp

In the Google Earth image of the Jebel UN Camp outside Juba, the red rectangle is the area where primarily Lookout Presbyterian has been funding work for the past three years—Protection of Civilian Camp 1 (POC1). Nuer risk assault by going outside the camp. Since mid-July the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs--Nuer tribe) has doubled to about 8,600 in POC1. The city of tents outside the blue rectangle is POC3, containing about 30,000 IDPs. We’re hoping to reach POC3  in 2017, and 1-2 other UN IDP camps in the Juba region with chaplains, and a place for prayer and study. The map shows some of these camps, and lists Kiryandongo, in Uganda, where we worked in 1999 and 2000.

The US AID has spent over 1.7 billion dollars on humanitarian aid for South Sudanese displaced since the conflict which began in December 2013.5 This is a huge help, which should be highlighted, particularly since the price of the staple grain sorghum in Juba is 1,257 percent above its five year average.6 US AID will not provide spiritual help. The human heart and the quest for power are at the heart of this morass. I know that only Jesus can radically transform anyone’s heart (2 Corinthians 5:17). Contact us if you’d like to get involved in some way. We work with South Sudanese who have proven to be excellent partners in ministry over the last three years. Consider joining us in our planned return in April 2017.

For those who are following Ellen Fox’s ministry in Lohutok, she is safe and well. She is now headmistress of an elementary school, started by other Lohutok missionaries, and is now on Facebook, where you’ll see her teaching.7 Funds for her ministry can now be sent to her more easily via Stephen Matusik, missionaries in Lohutok who started the school where Ellen teaches.8

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http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/08/23/491057541/gang-rape-of-aid-workers-in- south-sudan-is-a-turning-point
https://aidworkersecurity.org/sites/default/files/HO_AidWorkerSecPreview_1015_G.PDF_.pdf
https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/horn-africa/south-sudan/south-sudan-risky-political-impasse
http://www.voanews.com/a/some-south-sudanese-want-restrictions-troop-deployment/3496373.html
https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1866/south_sudan_crisis_fs11_08-23-2016.pdf
http://www.fews.net/east-africa/south-sudan/alert/august-23-2016
https://www.facebook.com/Lohutok-Preschool-585 724948242889/?fref=ts
8  Go to http://www.mastersmission.org/donations and make a donation to Stephen Matusik, then email him at matusik@swissmail.org that the donation was for Ellen Fox. It will go 100% to Ellen.
Lohutok Preschool

DMMs

Annually for at least the last 11 years, I been responsible to propose African projects to the World Missions Committee of Lookout Presbyterian. At times Maclellan Foundation Strategy Directors have led us to outstanding ministry partners. During the year I liaise with these programs. Seven new and ongoing projects recently received preliminary approval for 2017.

Several rapid Disciple-making movements (DMM) in northern Africa have been funded, particularly among unreached Muslims. As the map indicates, this is where Christians have their greatest challenges. These movements are founded upon obedience-based Bible studies among those who have been served in some practical ways by courageous African missionaries living among them.1 What is learned is put into immediate practice, and then taught to the next generation of disciples. Studies are sanctioned and encouraged by “persons of peace” (Luke 10:6). These disciples become the basis of house churches that have the DNA of replication. Churches of around thirty can be started for less than $700. It is not unusual for such a church to grow within one or two years into three generations.

It seems that DMMs work best in areas where Christians are unwelcome or are persecuted, and where a church building of any type might coalesce opposition. As of 2015, the annual net gain is 17,236,000 African Christians.2 Although some Africans with whom I talk in Uganda are convinced that people will look down upon a congregation without a building, it’s obvious that the African church is growing without buildings. The map below shows sub-Saharan African Christian concentrations, and the paucity of Christians in the north. This is the African frontier that needs to be the evangelistic focus of missionaries and money, American and African. Kenya is 94% evangelized, has received 6,000 missionaries and sends 1,000 missionaries. Uganda is 99% evangelized, receives 2,500 missionaries and sends 560. S. Africa is 99% evangelized, receives 12,000 missionaries and sends 8,000 missionaries.3 Every nation has needs and most national churches want help, but we need to prioritize work, neglecting none.                                                             
J. Sutherland

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1 https://idisciple.cityteam.org/about 
2 Todd M. Johnson & Gina Zurlo, eds. World Christian Database, (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015). For an excellent infographic see
http://www.gordonconwell.edu/ockenga/research/documents/1ChristianityinAfricaFINAL.pdf
3  World Christian Database, 2015
Christians in Africa graphic

Prayer & Praise

RMNI
Please continue to pray for the Board as we seek a man with mission passion to be the next executive director. Let us know if you have a referral. The salary is not large.
A preliminary article is written analyzing our survey of African American missionaries—an answer to prayer! As a result of feedback, we’ve decided to contact several hundred more mission organizations before wrapping up that work. Please pray that this can be completed and the article submitted by December.
S. Sudan
Pray for a lasting peace, protection of civilians, and for the country to have godly leaders.
Wisdom is needed for project management and implementation by ministry partners in S. Sudan, particularly ministry to refugees inside UN camps.
Ellen Fox
Needs strength, good health, wisdom, and protection, as headmistress of the new primary school in Lohutok. This goes for several other Lohutok missionary families.
Urban Ministry
The Westside Church is growing and deepening, under the leadership of Board member Jeremy Faber.
Shootings by rival gangs rise in Chattanooga, as in Chicago. The church can reach them on the streets, if she only will.
Pray for divine appointments each week at the Westside. Currently four workers are on the street.
India
Pray for Joe and Sandy, returning for two weeks in October.
Personal
Judy Sutherland is again teaching 5th grade at Classical Beginnings.
Jim is rested after the summer and continues fulltime at RMNI.
Please pray for blessing upon research, teaching and preaching this fall, as well as upon children and grandchildren. Thanks!
South Sudan 2017 - April - Juba & Torit

Year Six of S. Sudan

1. Join our 11th ministry trip in South Sudan, working with the same partners. As personnel are available, we offer seminars, medical services, evangelistic outreach and possibly building opportunities. Through partnership with U.S. churches, we evangelize, plant churches, develop ministry proposals, train Christian workers and encourage micro-economic development. We are members of MedicalMissions.com  We do our best to provide safety, and so far have had no problems.
2. We can probably put your gift/skill to work in S. Sudan.  Let us try.
3. Our teams are relational and multicultural. We go to serve, rather than observe.
4. The fee is approximately $2,500, plus round-trip airfare to Entebbe, Uganda. Our agent provides discounted fares on quality airlines, and excellent service. Immunizations, visas, and outfitting are extra. We have had no safety problems to date.
5. You can get your church involved. Team members’ lives  have been changed—Ellen Fox is an example, who has served six years as a missionary in South Sudan.
Visit www.RMNI.org       MedicalMissions.com  member

The Reconciliation Report is a publication of

Reconciliation Ministries Network, Inc.
PO Box 2537 Chattanooga, TN 37409-0537

423.822.1091

Jim Sutherland, PhD, Director
Jim@RMNi.org

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